Bottom-up Approaches to trauma treatments
When we experience trauma the brain may have difficulty encoding the experience. The amygdala is known as the fear centre of the brain while the hippocampus is the part of our brain responsible for encoding experiences in memory. These parts of the brain become dysfunctional when we experience repetitve and acute traumas resulting in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and panic attacks and phobias. While the amygala and hippocampus are prime parts of the brain affected, they are not the only parts that play a role in the development of these disorders. The Prefrontal Cortex is the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking and problem solving and in trauma becomes inhibted. Therefore, we cannot think clearly when we are experiencing or re-experiencing a traumatic and highly stressful event and to top it off, our behaviour will be unconscious, making it hard to understand our own actions.
Bottom-up treatments are aimed at creating a sense of safety in the body creating a space for us to be in the here and now moment. Singing and dancing in groups is a wonderful therapy for trauma as is deep breathing techniques and yoga.